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Best method to document cold calls? RRS feed

  • Question

  • We need to provide our salespeople with a quick and easy way to document their cold calls in CRM.

     

    Many have lists of possible prospect, that are not in CRM, so we don't want to add as leads nor accounts,

    but want them to key in name, phone, date, results of the call, etc., so management can produce a list

    of their activities (see how busy or not they are). Other than entering a Activity, Phone Call?  How are

    others handling? (CRM is not designed to track user activity)

     

     

    Thursday, October 2, 2008 7:47 PM

Answers

  • In MSCRM terms, a lead can constitute any source of information, whether addresses out of a phone book, business cards received at a trade show or someone who clicked on your web site. Telemarketers typically work off leads and generate phone call activities to demonstrate they've followed up on a lead. Additionally built in duplicate detection prevent scenarios where the same customer is called on numerous occasions. I've yet to meet a customer who didn't start their telesales process at leads (whether using MSCRM) or any other type of CRM, but if you don't have a soft copy of the data and duplicate detection is not a concern, creating a phone call activity is probably the quickest solution.



    Thursday, October 2, 2008 10:21 PM

All replies

  • Hi Leonard,

    This sounds somewhat familiar. I have to say the MS CRM model for handling leads is pretty decent. Users can easily import their prospect lists into leads by using the import wizard and these leads can be hidden from other salespeople by configuring the security model.

    Leads represent exactly what you described. Once a lead is qualified you may promote it to an opportunity at which point it is a potential sale. Following this model allowed for good out the box reporting (lead source effectiveness). When you import leads into the system, it can automatically create phone call tasks for the leads using workflow.

    If you were to store the initial data in another entity, your qualified phone calls (which now would be an opportunity) would be entered as leads? This puts you a step behind the sales cycle.

    As for tracking user activity, MSCRM is (in most implementations) used to track user activity by creating tasks against various entities (as explained earlier). If the client really doesn't want to use leads though, you can create a custom entity and import data into that.

    Cheers,

    Karlo




    Thursday, October 2, 2008 8:28 PM
  • I think you miss the point... these are not leads, qualified or not. Open a Yellow Pages book at say, "Hospitals" and you will see what I mean. We want to track how many cold calls salespeople did to these. Not accounts, not prospects, not leads... nor want to enter demographic data yet.

     

     

    Thursday, October 2, 2008 8:37 PM
  • In MSCRM terms, a lead can constitute any source of information, whether addresses out of a phone book, business cards received at a trade show or someone who clicked on your web site. Telemarketers typically work off leads and generate phone call activities to demonstrate they've followed up on a lead. Additionally built in duplicate detection prevent scenarios where the same customer is called on numerous occasions. I've yet to meet a customer who didn't start their telesales process at leads (whether using MSCRM) or any other type of CRM, but if you don't have a soft copy of the data and duplicate detection is not a concern, creating a phone call activity is probably the quickest solution.



    Thursday, October 2, 2008 10:21 PM
  • Well, actually the quickest and the easiest way is to create a Lead form with the major required information (Topic, Last name) in addition to the phone no. In less than a minute anyone can fill it. However, the lead is important in later stages. For these reasons:

    1. To report out how are the neglected leads within 30 days or any given number

    2. To include them in any marketing campaigns

    3. To track the activities with the leads

    And many other benefits. Thus, I think that using the lead form is quite efficient and will affect your business positively.

     

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 12:49 PM
  • Sorry, but you are also missing the point. If I enter them using the Lead screen, all reports, views, statistics (like the how many neglected in last 30 days that you mention), the calls are treated as L-E-A-D-S.  And, we don't want those statistics combined with leads. They are NOT NOT NOT Leads, but I guess you folks just can't think out of the box.

     

    Thanks, anyway.  I guess we will create a new entity.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 2:52 PM
  • Actually, by CRM definition, they are leads.  That you are using leads for something else doesn't change their use intent.

    That said, I'd set up a generic "Cold Calls" contact/account/what-have-you and then have your sales people make phone activities against it for each cold call for what you are doing.

    You aren't going to have the best reporting that way, but it will be a unified list you can track against.
    Thursday, October 9, 2008 3:38 PM
  • That's what I said: create new entity...

    Thursday, October 9, 2008 3:41 PM
  • Hi guys,

     

    I am actually trying to figure this out too so I'm glad I stumbled upon this post.

     

    I think I might understand what you mean when its "NOT a Lead." 

     

    What my coworkers are currently doing seems a bit too time consuming also.  I would like to find a more convenient way for them to input their activities.

     

    I create a "Marketing List" and then create a "Quick Campaign" off those contacts that I chose in the Marketing List. 

    Then I assign those contacts in a QUEUE and my coworkers will go in there and "Accept" each contact off the list.

     

    They create a phonecall based off that contact and then follow up depending on whether or not they were able to get a hold of the contact.  Right now, we're cold calling for a new demo we're introducing.  They've been creating follow up appointments and emails.  I've been playing around with the campaign response but it just seems like too many steps for them.  I also created a picklist on the phonecalls form where I can pull up the data I would see in the campaign response but of course we rather use the campaign response since it's there for a purpose. 

     

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

     

    Thanks in advance!

    Friday, November 7, 2008 4:20 PM
  • We pretty well decided on using activity to document the call.

    Use activity: Phone call

    Recipient: blank (as they are not yet in CRM, nor do we want them there yet)

    Subject: "Cold call - ABC Manufacturing, Inc., Miami, FL: said not interested, but call back in Jan '09"

    Description: blank, unless something important

     

    that way when we can see a self-contained calls documented just by viewing a 1-line listing of activities. 

    We can sort by salesperson, see how many cold calls per day, etc.         Keep it simple...

    (and it does not clutter the real Leads)

    Friday, November 7, 2008 4:53 PM
  •  

    Maybe I can shed some light on another way to think about this. This is a question that often comes up with our clients and we seem to have found a good way to address it in a way that is easy to explain and understand.

     

    In certain cases where appropriate, the first thing we do is to rename the "Lead" entity to "Suspects & Leads". Then within this renamed entity we create a "record type" field with the values of Suspect and Lead. We then determine and document the definition of each of these record types so that records type values can be set correctly. Each record then get's designated with one of these values based upon the written out and agreed to definition.

     

    here is an example of a definition of the difference between Suspects and Leads and then also Prospects and Customers (or clients, accounts, etc based upon YOUR terminology) that we use for the Account enitity.

     

    Suspect - An organization that we have had no contact with but that fits some type of desired profile.  Example: we buy a list of company/contact names that fits our target customer profile, or names out of the yellow pages, etc, etc....

    Lead - an organization that has contacted us or we have contacted them and they have expressed interest in our products/services but we need to further profile and qualify to determine if they should be converted to a Prospect.

    Further, when it comes to Accounts entity, we also typically have a record type associated with them....

    Prospect – an organization with an identified need that we have qualified as a potential customer. A Prospect may or may not have a current, active opportunity attached to them.

    Customer – an organization that is an active customer. A Customer may or may not have a current, active opportunity attached to them.

    And finally, we then define what is an Opportunity?

    Opportunity – A specific sales opportunity and the associated details relative to specific products/services, Estimated Revenue, Estimated Close Date, etc. that has been identified with a qualified prospect/existing customer.  

     

    Where some people tend to get stuck is in thinking of "Opportunities" as a sequential step in a sales process....like lead then opportunity then customer. In reality though, in many B2B and some B2C situations it more often is reflected in a process where it goes: Suspect to Lead to Prospect - which then gets an Opportunity associated with the Prospect - then Prospect then turns into a Customer when the Opportuntiy is WON.  Then, to take it one step further, you create and manage "Opportunities" that are asssociated with Customers as you sell them additional products and services over the course of your relationship.....

     

    Ultimately there is no one way it is or has to be done in Dynamics CRM so the best thing to do is to define and document your curren and/or desired process and then adapt the tool to support your process vs the other way around. THAT is the true power of Dynamics CRM.

     

    Monday, December 8, 2008 4:38 PM
  • I am looking for any experienced comments on the Lead Source Effectiveness report.  This is exactly what we are looking for, but instead of pre-defined lead 'categories', we want that report for specific campaign acitivities.  The best I can figure out now is to expand the drop-down list with each activity (banner ads, specific trade show, etc.) but this will get out of hand quickly.  Any feedback, or pointers to information I should read would be greatly appreciated.
    Monday, November 2, 2009 7:49 PM
  • I am looking for any experienced comments on the Lead Source Effectiveness report.  This is exactly what we are looking for, but instead of pre-defined lead 'categories', we want that report for specific campaign acitivities.  The best I can figure out now is to expand the drop-down list with each activity (banner ads, specific trade show, etc.) but this will get out of hand quickly.  Any feedback, or pointers to information I should read would be greatly appreciated.

    You're mixing.  A specific trade show is a campaign not a "lead source".  Compare this report with the Campaign Performance or Campaign Comparison reports.  If you are looking to inherit from Lead Source Effectiveness, open it up and see if it can be modified to run against Originating Campaign rather than lead source.
    Monday, November 2, 2009 8:58 PM